Arkansas Name Change

Name Change Order Document (.doc download)

Name Change Petition Document (.doc download)

List of Additional Helpful Links

Instructions for Legal Name Change in Arkansas

1. Locate all bold, italicized words contained within dashes.


2. Using your computer, replace with the indicated information

a) Keep the replaced information bold, but remove italics, all caps, and dashes

Example: Replace -CURRENT LEGAL NAME– with John Lee Doe

3. The reason for name change has already been filled out as: my current name does not reflect my current gender association/identity and is a reminder of past traumatic experiences. a) While you are free to change these reasons, I recommend keeping the already determined reason IF you are filing in a name change due to gender transition. Otherwise, here are legally valid reasons for name change in Arkansas (remember that other reasons may be valid, but these are the known ones. Also, the main cause for name changes being declined is not listing a legally valid reason for name change, so please pay close attention and list all reasons which can apply):
1] Divorce
2] Marriage
3] Adoption
4] Name does not reflect current spiritual or religious beliefs, alignments, or ideals
5] Name does not reflect current political or moral beliefs, alignments, or ideals
6] Name does not reflect current identity
7] Name does not reflect current gender association/identity
8] Name is a reminder of past traumatic experiences
b) If you add to or change the already determined reason, please be sure the reasons you use are among the legally recognized reasons

4. Do NOT fill out the blank underlined portions.
a) The division, Div. No., Case No., and Judge will be filled out at the courthouse

5. Print 3 copies of the Name Change Petition
a) You will likely only need 2

6. Print 3 copies of the Name Change Order
a) You will likely only need 2

7. Double check your information.

8. Do NOT sign anything until you are with the notary
a) The notary must witness you signing the document
b) The notary will then sign/stamp it him/herself.
c) Do this for 2-3 copies.

9. Pay the notary
a) If you have a bank account, your bank likely has a notary who will not charge you
b) You can also go to the library or the bail bond office across from the courthouse for notarization.
c) Typical fee is from $0-$15

10. Staple the Name Change Petition papers together.
a) Do NOT staple the Name Change Order to the Petition

11. Double check your information.

12. Go to the Garland County Courthouse
a) Take the elevator upstairs to the County Clerk’s office
b) Tell the clerk you need a Cover Sheet for a Name Change Petition
c) Fill out the Cover Sheet if it has not been done for you
d) Give the Cover Sheet, 2 copies of the Name Change Petition, and 2 copies of the Name Change Order back to the County Clerk.

13. Pay the County Clerk the filing fee.
a) This should be appoximately $160

14. The court may take anywhere from 1-6 months to make a decision, but the average is about 3 months after filing.
a) Sometimes they get busy and forget to call. If you haven’t heard from them by 3 months, give the County Clerk a call (or visit)
b) I recommend NOT telling anyone about your petition. Anyone can object to the name change and while it is highly unlikely they will succeed in convincing the court against your name change, it’s needless aggravation and might delay a decision.
c) It’s very rare that you have to appear in court in person for a name change, but it is a possibility

15. After your name change is complete, return to the courthouse and pick up the Name Change Order and Name Change Petition which has been signed by the judge

16. Go to the Social Security Administration office to update your Social Security card and information.
a) Bring the judge-signed Name Change Order and Name Change Petition with you

17. After you get your new Social Security card, go to the DMV and update your license

a) Bring your new Social Security card with you
b) Bring the judge-signed Name Change Order and Name Change Petition with you
c) Bring applicable Driver’s Licence renewal fees (approximately $10)

18. While you are at the DMV, you can also tell them to change your gender marker
a) If they ask for details, simply say you have undergone gender transition, but they shouldn’t ask

-You do NOT need a lawyer or attorney to file a Name Change Petition.
-You can go through an extra process to change your name/gender on your birth certificate, but going the above outlined route alone will allow you to be legally your chosen name/gender in all legal matters.

-The Gender Clinic (within the UAMS Women’s Clinic) in Little Rock may also have name change paperwork and information.

– Additional helpful information:

-Unless your record is sealed, your Name Change is public record